Free Skype counselling for homesick Irish abroad could come to Britain soon

Free Skype counselling for homesick Irish abroad could come to Britain soon

AN ONLINE counselling service for the Irish diaspora could soon be coming to British shores.

Cabhrú is a newly-launched offering by Ireland's Helplink Support Services, a national non-profit organisation that provides free and low-cost mental health care.

The word Cabhrú is Irish for ‘help’ or ‘support’.

Helplink has been providing thousands of counselling appointments online or by phone across Ireland for the past five years and has recently extended the service to Australia.

Its Cabhrú offering is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and is partnered with the GAA and Crosscare Migrant Project.

For now the service is only available for Irish people living and working in Australia, but plans are afoot to extend the service to the Irish found across the globe.

Helplink founder Lochlann Scott told The Irish Post that the service’s success since its September 10 launch in Australia, to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day, meant that Cabhrú could soon expand.

“We have plans to extend the service to the UK, UAE, USA and Canada, but the timing of this is very dependent on funding,” he said.

“There has been immediate demand and we have been very happy with the response so far.”

Helplink is currently seeking corporate social responsibility funding from Irish companies across the globe to support its expansion.

Details can be found at Helplink’s dedicated website, along with further information on Cabhrú and what the service entails.

Cabhrú counsellors are equipped to deal with a host of issues from depression, loneliness and homesickness through to addiction, self-esteem problems and a lack of a family support structure.